Ways to Save Money on Transportation

There are many ways you can save money on transportation.  If you slow down you have more time to find cheap transportation and plan how to get from A to B. You can choose a slower form of transportation or wait for a good offer to present itself. However, if you are in a rush it becomes more difficult and tends to be more expensive. Below are several common means of transportation and a few not so common.

Hiking

How about walking around the globe? Yes, people do that. If not, then there are still plenty of amazing treks all over the planet and hiking is probably the best way to explore a country. Except for the shoes it’s totally free.
Walking the Camino de Santiago in Spain or trekking in The Himalayas in Nepal are a couple of options where you get to see a lot of a country with little transportation involved.

Cycling

Cycling is another very cheap option. Although it’s free in theory you probably will have to spend some money when it breaks down every now and then.

Hitchhiking

Totally free and people do it all the time.
Hitch Wiki
Hitch The World

Carpooling

Ride cheaper by going with people who are traveling in the same direction.
Carpool World

Boatpooling/Maritime carpooling

Same as carpooling, but with boats.
TripnBoat

Public transportation

This is a great way to save money on transportation. A very popular and cheap backpacker option. This can be ridiculously cheap depending on where you go.
Rome2Rio
Seat61

Horse/Camel/Mule/Donkey

This is kinda unusual, but people do it anyway. If you already have a horse or a camel then bring it. Otherwise you can rent one.

Moped

Compared to a car this is a much cheaper option. You can also reach places a car can’t. If there is a traffic jam you can breeze through. It uses way less fuel than a motorcycle or car. In Tamil Nadu, India I rented a (beat up) moped for $1 a day. A very cheap option depending on the country and your negotiation skills.

Scooter

A more luxurious option than the moped, but same idea. In Kerala, India I rented a very nice scooter for $5 a day.

Electric Scooter

Those tiny scooters you can fold together and carry around would be a hilarious way to travel the world.

Motorcycle

This is a classic, but also a more expensive option because of the fuel consumption.

Car

A road trip around the world sounds amazing to me. Depending on how you approach it it can be a cheap option. If you bring cooking gear and cook your own food and sleep in the car then you can save a lot of money right there which will cover the fuel expenses.
Research in advance about the rules and regulations before driving to a new country.

Camper

Everything you need is with you all the time. The cost depends on how much fuel you use.

Boat

Getting one is definitely not cheap, but if you already have one or know someone who will lend one to you, then you can circumnavigate the world like this 14 year old girl did.
Time Article
YouTube Video

Ferries

Sometimes ferries can be cheaper than flying. But that’s not always the case so check out both options.
Direct Ferries
Find A Crew

Flying

This is generally not a good way to save money on transportation since it tends to be expensive to fly. However, the price for flying varies greatly depending on numerous variables and knowing how to search for the cheapest flight is crucial to saving a lot of money.

Booking sites for flights
Skyscanner
Kayak
Expedia
Momondo
Dohop
SkipLagged

Note: Skiplagged claims to find the cheapest flights and somehow “expose secrets of the industry”. I still haven’t gotten better prices with Skiplagged than with Skyscanner. But check it out just in case. Perhaps Skiplagged shows it’s value on longer flights, I don’t know. No matter what you do make sure you always include Skyscanner in your search for flights. Skyscanner is in my experience generally the cheapest out of all the search engines I’ve tried. It also offers more flexible ways of searching than the majority of the competition.

Save money on flights
When flying don’t book seats or meals unless it’s a long distance flight where the convenience is worth it. If you have your own travel insurance (which you should) you can skip that too. And with only a carry-on the only additional cost will be the taxes (which can be enough on its own).

Learn how to find the cheapest flight by clicking here.

Note: When renting mopeds, scooters, cars etc apply the same principals as explained in the how to save money on accommodation post, here. Avoid the booking site fees (if any) and arrange long term discounts.

Keep in mind that the links provided here are not exhaustive. It is just a place for you to start, and if one site doesn’t provide the information you need keep looking for similar sites or use your creativity to find alternatives. You can also simply ask either here or at a travel forum. I merely showing you a small glimpse of what’s possible.

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